1 1/2 lbs fresh okra, sliced into quarter inch rounds
1 can (14 1/2 oz) tomatoes
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 lb lobster meat, cooked
hot cooked rice
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Make a roux by gradually stirring in the flour. Stir constantly until the mixture turns a rich, dark brown. (Do not allow the flour to burn). Stir in the shrimp. Cook 5 minutes and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the remaining tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the celery and onions and cook until they become soft. Add the okra. Cook until the okra ceases to rope (about 30 minutes).
When the okra is done, add the tomatoes and their liquid, water, bay leaves, and the salt and pepper. Stir in the shrimp mixture. Add the tomato paste after about 1 minute and stir. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the lobster meat and stir. Turn off heat. Remove the bat leaves.
Serve the gumbo over rice in flat-bottomed bowls.
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